South Lake Tahoe, Calif. – This season, Sierra-at-Tahoe is putting more energy into its freestyle terrain features than ever before. With the addition of a snowskate park, a fourth terrain park, 15 new rails and increased snowmaking capabilities on its 17-foot Superpipe, Sierra’s terrain park staff is committed to delivering a unique freestyle playground unlike any other in Lake Tahoe.
Ranked in Transworld Snowboarding’s 2002 Park and Pipe Survey as one of the Top-Ten Halfpipes in North America, Sierra-at-Tahoe has proven it is worthy of national prominence in the freestyle arena- a position the resort values and will continue to reinforce throughout the upcoming season.
Booth Creek Resorts brought well-known terrain park designer Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson on board this season, to have a hand in designing all of Sierra’s parks, pipes and snowskate parks. His expertise and guidance have been used to lead high profile, professional snowboard events worldwide including the ESPN Winter X Games, World Championships of Snowboarding, and the Burton European Open. President and founder of Snow Park Technologies, his knowledge of cutting-edge terrain park technology will be an asset to a resort that has long been Tahoe’s best kept secret for freeride skiers and riders.
“Sierra has had a long history of progressive thinking when it comes to embracing snowboarding and freestyle parks and my goal is to help continue that evolution,” said Gunnarson.
The same parks and pipes that have been a closely-guarded spot for locals have also hosted world championship events such as the ESPN Freeride Championships and the Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding. It’s not unusual to catch pro riders Terje Haakonson, Chris Engelsman and Jim Rippey in the pipe or 2002 US National Moguls champion Travis Ramos tweaking his aerial maneuvers in the park.
But there is no sponsorship required to ride Sierra’s freestyle terrain. In fact, the resort hosts a number of grassroots contests where amateurs can showcase their talent every season, such as the Forum Youngblood Series taking place on Feb. 23, 2003.
What attracts this motley crew of freeriders is the diversity of Sierra’s parks. Terrain park manager Scott Ensminger is determined to change up the terrain park designs so that riders never see the same park twice. A top-notch grooming staff that has a reputation for grooming the terrain parks nightly adds to the appeal.
Sierra-at-Tahoe fills its four terrain parks and boardercross track with innovative terrain features and designates a park for each ability level- beginner, beginner/intermediate, intermediate/advanced and expert.
New features the resort will incorporate include funboxes- wooden boxes with a wide surface for easier sliding, a self-contained snowskate park with snowskate rentals available and a rail garden filled with kinked, curved and rainbow-shaped rails for jibbing o’plenty.
Half pipe fans will be happy to hear that Sierra is aiming its snowmaking guns directly at its 17-foot Superpipe in the hopes of opening it before any other resort in the Tahoe region. For a warm-up, Sierra-at-Tahoe offers skiers/riders a standard halfpipe, open early season. Sierra’s park staff prides themselves on grooming the pipe nightly with the Bombardier HPG Super Pipe Cutter.
Check out www.sierratahoe.com/terrainpark for the latest news, park openings and shots of the day. ####